Pay tv subscriptions decline

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#2
I'd like to see it drop more, regularly. That's the only thing that will get the pricing down where it needs to be. Right now, we're all being ripped off.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#3
For perspective, it was only one quarter of one percent and it was less than what it went up the same quarter last year. Meanwhile I believe that this will be the trend as more people discover OTA and web streaming. One thing holding it back is in many areas cable is still the best source of high speed internet.
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#4
For perspective, it was only one quarter of one percent and it was less than what it went up the same quarter last year. Meanwhile I believe that this will be the trend as more people discover OTA and web streaming. One thing holding it back is in many areas cable is still the best source of high speed internet.
Just a thought here, but as the trend continues with less subscribers for cable and satellite TV, those companies will probably find ways to protect themselves from being priced out of the market by internet providers. Not sure how they'll do it unless they start buying ISPs.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#5
Read more of the analysis and you can realize that this drop is most likely a reflection of timing. The cable companies and satellite services went crazy starting in the first quarter of 2009 showering consumers with promotional deals, capitalizing on concerns about digital OTA television reception. Now, those contracts are coming up for renewal at full price. Many of these consumers did not become loyal customers: They were willing to pay for cable/satellite when it was dirt cheap, but now that they have to pay a fair price for what they're getting they're balking, and switching back to OTA, or switching to options that didn't even exist in early 2009, such as Hulu Plus. (Many consumers don't care about the higher reliability for higher resolution service delivery that cable/satellite provides, and many consumers don't care that these new services don't comply with all the US laws that broadcast and cable/satellite have to comply with.)

So we really can't know what's going on until this coming winter, by which time all the weak-Willies that were just capitalizing on dirt-cheap cable/satellite are out of the market.

However, it still would be shocking if there wasn't some decline. Before, it was like having a pie that was divided two ways, one part for cable, one part for satellite. However, over time, more and more competition has entered the marketplace. That pie needs to be divided between cable, satellite, fiber, Internet streaming from various sources, discs, video game consoles, etc., then cable's and satellite's part of the pie had better be smaller - the only way that their parts of the pie wouldn't be smaller is if the people offering things like Hulu and Xbox were utter idiots. And they're not.
 

FOX TV

Contributor
#7
Pay tv subscriptions decline for many reasons

Read more of the analysis and you can realize that this drop is most likely a reflection of timing. The cable companies and satellite services went crazy starting in the first quarter of 2009 showering consumers with promotional deals, capitalizing on concerns about digital OTA television reception. Now, those contracts are coming up for renewal at full price. Many of these consumers did not become loyal customers: They were willing to pay for cable/satellite when it was dirt cheap, but now that they have to pay a fair price for what they're getting they're balking, and switching back to OTA, or switching to options that didn't even exist in early 2009, such as Hulu Plus. (Many consumers don't care about the higher reliability for higher resolution service delivery that cable/satellite provides, and many consumers don't care that these new services don't comply with all the US laws that broadcast and cable/satellite have to comply with.)

So we really can't know what's going on until this coming winter, by which time all the weak-Willies that were just capitalizing on dirt-cheap cable/satellite are out of the market.

However, it still would be shocking if there wasn't some decline. Before, it was like having a pie that was divided two ways, one part for cable, one part for satellite. However, over time, more and more competition has entered the marketplace. That pie needs to be divided between cable, satellite, fiber, Internet streaming from various sources, discs, video game consoles, etc., then cable's and satellite's part of the pie had better be smaller - the only way that their parts of the pie wouldn't be smaller is if the people offering things like Hulu and Xbox were utter idiots. And they're not.
OTA TV holds benefits for the masses, and even for those who can actually afford pay TV. Most subscriber services use the same technique of trying to hide the true costs of an agreement for services by providing an introductory price, and taking your attention away from the true costs after the introductory time frame has expired. Then comes the typical case of consumer shock when they realize that they can't afford to, or do not want to pay those unfair prices for entertainment.

Cable or satellite has never been "Dirt Cheap" in my lifetime, and most likely very few others lifetimes either. All pay services, be it Satellite, Cable, Internet access, standard telephone services, and Cell Phone charges are all over priced, and always have been ever since they have been in existence. They use deceptive marketing practices to lure gullible people into an "Introductory Offer", and then sock it to them at the end of that introductory period, all the while trying to hide the true price of their services.

The extremely depressed economy has added a new twist to the entertainment arena, with people starting to realize that there are other methods of receiving entertainment other than paying the exorbitant prices for paid sources of entertainment via cable or satellite. Your statement that "Many consumers don't care about the higher reliability for higher resolution service delivery that cable/satellite provides" is not exactly accurate in regards to high resolution, as the very best resolution for High Definition is only available from one source, and that is OTA HD programming. Our station gets many calls from true "Videophiles" who insist that they do not, or will not view standard definition programming, and we also get numerous calls when or if a scheduled program is not broadcast in HD as advertised.

As I have said before, and the numbers prove that OTA HD has the highest resolution of most all signal sources, as the need to compress data (Resolution) is not a high priority of OTA broadcasters as it is with Satellite or Cable delivered signals. They just cannot provide the resolution factor that the OTA Broadcasters can due to bandwidth limitations. Most network affiliation agreements that provide High Definition programming require a dedicated amount of bandwidth (headroom) be set aside in a broadcasters data stream to ensure a quality OTA broadcast signal is always delivered. That agreement only applies to the OTA portion of the signal, as the FCC has never ruled on a proposal to require passage of the full data stream as provided by broadcast affiliates that was introduced a few years back, but was never acted upon by the FCC.

"However, it still would be shocking if there wasn't some decline. Before, it was like having a pie that was divided two ways, one part for cable, one part for satellite. However, over time, more and more competition has entered the marketplace. That pie needs to be divided between cable, satellite, fiber, Internet streaming from various sources, discs, video game consoles, etc., then cable's and satellite's part of the pie had better be smaller - the only way that their parts of the pie wouldn't be smaller is if the people offering things like Hulu and Xbox were utter idiots. And they're not."

"However, it still would be shocking if there wasn't some decline. Before, it was like having a pie that was divided two ways, one part for cable, one part for satellite.
So you are saying that OTA has no place in the market, or no slice of the pie available to them? Why is that when it is the most robust delivery method available, and offers features that the other media methods cannot supply such as the Emergency Alert System, and higher video resolution, with higher video resolution being the most prominent, not to mention local flavor and flair, and community involvement.

When did you last see Direc TV or Dish Network, or Hulu, or Microsoft, or Google sponsor a local charity such as Habitat For Humanity as our station does locally? They actually give volunteer employees their regular pay for working on a Habitat local house on the companies time. We also donate air time to promote that cause locally. You will NEVER see that after the theft of the broadcasters spectrum is complete, for the spectrum is not all that is threatened, as localism will be dead and gone after the spectrum theft is completed and local broadcasters are forced off the air and out of business.

In a capitalist society, the consumer is normally the one who chooses what services they desire and need and which ones survive or fail, and granted the current technology is very popular with consumers. But in the case of OTA, it is the heavy hand of government that will decide the future of our entertainment choices while ignoring the needs of the lower income segment, thus giving them the actual infrastructure they require to bring George Orwell's vision of a "Big Brother" society much closer to reality.

There are several basic goals that the broadband industry is trying to achieve. The first is to create an industry that is deemed essential to almost everyone, thus ensuring its future as being to big and important to let anything such as OTA broadcasters to get in the way, regardless of the methods used to achieve that. The second is to dominate a resource such as the radio spectrum, which also eliminates those resources for use by any possible competition.

The technological capabilities of all of this new communications technology provides the perfect avenue and scenario for the "Big Brother Society" to become a reality as Mr. Orwell so intelligently predicted. Could this be one of the main reasons besides the greed of the companies themselves for the backing of this take over by the FCC? That should make one wonder if there are not underlying or hidden agendas that are trying to be fulfilled by the take over of the spectrum for surveillance purposes and control of its people.

Yes, I am sure opinion this will be attacked by some and called outrageous or worse, but even Mr. Orwell could see this concept of government control in his novel "1984", and even though it was written as a novel, many of his writings have been proven true. One has to look at both side of an issue, and then look even deeper, for whenever the human factor is involved, there is almost always a hidden agenda, and that is where we are at in todays world in regards to the "Entertainment" industry in regards to control of that industry by forces with a hidden agenda.

Your cable box sends back your TV usage data. Your satellite receiver if connected to a phone or IP connection does the same thing. Your Cell phone can be traced via GPS or the Cell sties that it connects to for "911 Connection Purposes" and that data is logged. Your computer stores data about you in hidden files, and I am not talking about tracking cookies either. Microsoft has always provided the hidden tools to itself to spy on you via your computer. Index.dat files need to be purged on a regular basis, as this is one of the places where they store some of the hidden data, but not all of it. Want to know more? ..... http://sillydog.org/mshidden.php

A few amazing and scary quotes from George Orwell's novel "!984"...............

"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."

The only difference is we now do it "Wirelessly"

The three slogans of the Party:

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH."

"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power."

"We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us; so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him. It is intolerable to us that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, however secret and powerless it may be. Even in the instance of death we cannot permit any deviation . . . we make the brain perfect before we blow it out."

"We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent there will be no need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always—do not forget this Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever."

This could be our future, and lots of it is already coming true with the ability to track your every move via your Cell Phone, and the ability to log everything you do on a computer. If they control the medium, they control the message !!

Our freedom and privacy is threatened by the technology of 2- way communications as it currently exists, and even more clever ways of gathering information on us are being devised.
 
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bicker

DTVUSA Member
#8
OTA TV holds benefits for the masses, and even for those who can actually afford pay TV.
Indeed, but cable and satellite also offer something more, for many people. As has been pointed out several times, there is no one right answer for everyone.

Most subscriber services use the same technique of trying to hide the true costs of an agreement for services by providing an introductory price, and taking your attention away from the true costs after the introductory time frame has expired.
Indeed, magazines, movie rental services, even hair salons use such approaches. It's a very long-standing and well-regarded practice in the consumer marketplace.

Then comes the typical case of consumer shock when they realize that they can't afford to, or do not want to pay those unfair prices for entertainment.
There's nothing unfair about the prices. You simply don't like them.

Cable or satellite has never been "Dirt Cheap" in my lifetime, and most likely very few others lifetimes either.
It's all relative. For you, you don't see the value, so you don't find the services offered even remotely inexpensive. For other people, who capitalize greatly on what's offered, cable and satellite are a fantastic value, and indeed for many it is the best entertainment value available, since it provides more than what they can get from OTA alone, and at a reasonable price as far as they're concerned. As has been pointed out several times, there is no one right answer for everyone.

All pay services, be it Satellite, Cable, Internet access, standard telephone services, and Cell Phone charges are all over priced, and always have been ever since they have been in existence.
That's a ridiculous and practically-meaningless assertion. They are each properly priced, with some people finding them a great value, and others finding otherwise. The prevailing principle for the consumer marketplace is to price things so as to maximize return, since the service providers have an overriding obligation to their owners.

They use deceptive marketing practices to lure gullible people into an "Introductory Offer", and then sock it to them at the end of that introductory period, all the while trying to hide the true price of their services.
There is nothing deceptive about an introductory offer. The word "introductory" itself belies your assertion. While there are anecdotal cases where over-zealous service providers engage in practices they shouldn't, in the majority of cases - in the vast majority of cases - consumer service provides provide excellent service at fair prices utilizing well-respected and appropriate marketing approaches.

The extremely depressed economy has added a new twist to the entertainment arena, with people starting to realize that there are other methods of receiving entertainment other than paying the exorbitant prices for paid sources of entertainment via cable or satellite.
Actually, the depressed economy has prompted a lot of folks to eschew more expensive entertainment options, such as going to the theater, in favor of the ever-burgeoning set of home options available, of which cable and satellite service are only a part.

Your statement that "Many consumers don't care about the higher reliability for higher resolution service delivery that cable/satellite provides" is not exactly accurate in regards to high resolution, as the very best resolution for High Definition is only available from one source, and that is OTA HD programming.
Many cable and satellite service providers provide ever last bit of data for OTA channels. They might recompress cable networks, but generally do not recompress OTA channels. So your counter-assertion is inaccurate in that context.

Our station gets many calls from true "Videophiles" who insist that they do not, or will not view standard definition programming, and we also get numerous calls when or if a scheduled program is not broadcast in HD as advertised.
We'll have to agree to disagree with regard to the accuracy of the complaints of such videophies. They're blowing smoke, in most cases, for the reason I mentioned above. Perhaps they suffer from buyers' remorse.

So you are saying that OTA has no place in the market, or no slice of the pie available to them?
Not at all. You utterly misunderstood, or misconstrued, what you read. Go back and read it again and you'll see your error in comprehension. What you'll see is that the point made was that there are a number of new distractions available to consumers, so all legacy options would be expected to experience a decline.

... higher video resolution...
Correction: Higher or the same.

When did you last see Direc TV or Dish Network, or Hulu, or Microsoft, or Google sponsor a local charity such as Habitat For Humanity as our station does locally?
A lot of consumers couldn't care less about that stuff, unfortunately, but regardless, the cable companies do sponsor things like that, so your point, was not only irrelevant to what you were replying to, but also deceptive in context.

In a capitalist society, the consumer is normally the one who chooses what services they desire and need and which ones survive or fail, but in the case of OTA, it is the heavy hand of government that will decide the future of our entertainment choices, thus giving them the actual infrastructure they require to bring George Orwell's vision of a "Big Brother" society much closer to reality.
That's unreasonable FUD, and ridiculously so. As it is, government in this case is reflecting a responsible balance between what you so passionately want, representing your side of the issue, and what other people want. You seem to be asserting that things should be only the way you want them to be, and that's not the case. You want; and that's okay; but other people want other things, and so you have to acknowledge that you live in a society with other people, and you're not going to get everything your way.

Your message then got increasingly irrelevant and ridiculous, so I'll cut my reply off there because I think that replying further couldn't help but get insulting, due to the manner in which your comments prompt for ever-increasingly corrective and balancing replies.
 

FOX TV

Contributor
#9
You win...

Indeed, but cable and satellite also offer something more, for many people. As has been pointed out several times, there is no one right answer for everyone.

Indeed, magazines, movie rental services, even hair salons use such approaches. It's a very long-standing and well-regarded practice in the consumer marketplace.

There's nothing unfair about the prices. You simply don't like them.

It's all relative. For you, you don't see the value, so you don't find the services offered even remotely inexpensive. For other people, who capitalize greatly on what's offered, cable and satellite are a fantastic value, and indeed for many it is the best entertainment value available, since it provides more than what they can get from OTA alone, and at a reasonable price as far as they're concerned. As has been pointed out several times, there is no one right answer for everyone.

That's a ridiculous and practically-meaningless assertion. They are each properly priced, with some people finding them a great value, and others finding otherwise. The prevailing principle for the consumer marketplace is to price things so as to maximize return, since the service providers have an overriding obligation to their owners.

There is nothing deceptive about an introductory offer. The word "introductory" itself belies your assertion. While there are anecdotal cases where over-zealous service providers engage in practices they shouldn't, in the majority of cases - in the vast majority of cases - consumer service provides provide excellent service at fair prices utilizing well-respected and appropriate marketing approaches.

Actually, the depressed economy has prompted a lot of folks to eschew more expensive entertainment options, such as going to the theater, in favor of the ever-burgeoning set of home options available, of which cable and satellite service are only a part.

Many cable and satellite service providers provide ever last bit of data for OTA channels. They might recompress cable networks, but generally do not recompress OTA channels. So your counter-assertion is inaccurate in that context.

We'll have to agree to disagree with regard to the accuracy of the complaints of such videophies. They're blowing smoke, in most cases, for the reason I mentioned above. Perhaps they suffer from buyers' remorse.

Not at all. You utterly misunderstood, or misconstrued, what you read. Go back and read it again and you'll see your error in comprehension. What you'll see is that the point made was that there are a number of new distractions available to consumers, so all legacy options would be expected to experience a decline.

Correction: Higher or the same.

A lot of consumers couldn't care less about that stuff, unfortunately, but regardless, the cable companies do sponsor things like that, so your point, was not only irrelevant to what you were replying to, but also deceptive in context.

That's unreasonable FUD, and ridiculously so. As it is, government in this case is reflecting a responsible balance between what you so passionately want, representing your side of the issue, and what other people want. You seem to be asserting that things should be only the way you want them to be, and that's not the case. You want; and that's okay; but other people want other things, and so you have to acknowledge that you live in a society with other people, and you're not going to get everything your way.

Your message then got increasingly irrelevant and ridiculous, so I'll cut my reply off there because I think that replying further couldn't help but get insulting, due to the manner in which your comments prompt for ever-increasingly corrective and balancing replies.
Simply your standard reply. Everyone else's opinion is always wrong in the world according to Bicker. I relent, you win, you are da man, I bow at your feet, I am not worthy of "The World According To BICKER" and so you have to acknowledge that you live in a society with other people, and you're not going to get everything your way, and that applies to you too. I see why I took a break from here...Break Time !!
 

Chips

DTVUSA Member
#10
Time Warner Cable chief financial officer Rob Marcus told an audience at an industry conference Wednesday that the second largest cable operator in the country is on track to lose customers in the third quarter, a reflection of the stagnant economy.
Here is the article
Marcus: Time Warner Cable Could Lose Subs in Q3 - 2010-09-15 17:59:29 | Multichannel News

For whatever reason, I am one those lost TWC customer, at least as far as video, one who left for OTA. I may be the minority, but keep meeting more and more people who would like to try OTA, but really question whether they could get a signal. And the area I live in, that is an honest question.
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#11
Time Warner Cable chief financial officer Rob Marcus told an audience at an industry conference Wednesday that the second largest cable operator in the country is on track to lose customers in the third quarter, a reflection of the stagnant economy.
Not surprising considering their prices are moving up way faster than inflation. There's that and the fact that ota and the internet are taking the sting out of their buzz. If they would lower their prices people would come back but the pay tv industry wants to milk their customers who have lots of dollars but no ¢sense¢ first. It's not just the economy that's killing pay tv, it's the competition. Fair market competition at it's best.

If pay tv was truly a good value no one would be giving it up, would they?
 
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Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#12
Many cable and satellite service providers provide ever last bit of data for OTA channels. They might recompress cable networks, but generally do not recompress OTA channels. So your counter-assertion is inaccurate in that context.
I usually stay out of these debates, but I wanted to make the point that while some cable companies (like Comcast I believe) do preserve the exact content of the OTA signal, this is certainly not true of all of them. I was just in a discussion on AVS about this, where complaints about the HD news of the ABC affiliate on cable had to take into account the fact that the ABC-HD feed shared bandwidth with the local PBS-HD and Fox-HD, thus accounting for jamming three HD signals into a single ~38 Mbps QAM channel. I believe the cable company was TWC, not exactly a tiny company.

- Trip
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#13
Not all Comcast areas transmit the signals as-is. Some areas recompress. Apparently Comcast is not Comcast nationwide. Makes sense given that they swallowed up a lot of smaller cable companies, AT&T and Adelphia.

The FCC does say that they can't materially degrade the signals but apparently they do, and get away with it.
 

Chips

DTVUSA Member
#14
Many cable and satellite service providers provide ever last bit of data for OTA channels. They might recompress cable networks, but generally do not recompress OTA channels. So your counter-assertion is inaccurate in that context.
I am not a technician, but I know that at least in this area Satellite providers do not broadcast all the local OTA station in the Buffalo Market in HD. For example Dish does not offer PBS or MyTV or ION in HD (although they offer the CW in HD), but their OTA signal is in HD, Direct TV, only Offer FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS in HD, not the rest of OTA HD signals, or any subs. As far losing the HD signals, every cable rebroadcast the HD signal over their network and things happen, sometimes the HD signal can get lost. Not every Cable Head or satellite head have the same feed, some large and small markets feed a transmission line directly to the cable or satellite head. However many market still receive the signal at the cable head via an OTA antenna more then you may think and things also happen on the receiving end at the cable head. Recently Congress pass a law making it mandatory by a certain date that cable and satellite providers must carry all PBS HD signals. They wouldn't have past that law if they were already carrying the HD signals.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#15
Cable companies don't even provide every one of the OTA channels in HD. Not even Verizon FiOS.

That news about Congress passing a law mandating HD channel carriage is interesting. First I've heard of it. If that's the case then I should expect WNJN to show up in HD here on our cable system.
 

Chips

DTVUSA Member
#16
Cable companies don't even provide every one of the OTA channels in HD. Not even Verizon FiOS.

That news about Congress passing a law mandating HD channel carriage is interesting. First I've heard of it. If that's the case then I should expect WNJN to show up in HD here on our cable system.
I read that law reference on Cable and Broadcasting News in a related article and it only applied to PBS, not all OTA. And our local TWC does carry local OTA in HD and some sub channels in their digital cable package (not all of them), but I am sure not all cable networks are equal.
 

Chips

DTVUSA Member
#17
Recently Congress pass a law making it mandatory by a certain date that cable and satellite providers must carry all PBS HD signals.
I was wrong with that statement. It is only satellite providers required to carry noncommercial stations in HD. Here is an article that refers to it.
DISH Avoids STELA Noncom Mandate - 2010-07-29 19:28:19 | Broadcasting & Cable
and it does make sense that not all cable networks would carry every OTA HD signal although our local cable company does, it is a small local OTA market as far as the number of stations in Buffalo
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#18
Ah, STELA... yeah I knew about STELA, but I thought something similar was happening for cable.

Our cable system carries only one PBS station in HD and that's WNET. WNJN is the other and not carried in HD, only in SD.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#19
Simply your standard reply. Everyone else's opinion is always wrong in the world according to Bicker.
That's not the case at all. Rather: You're not integrating into what you're saying any semblance of acknowledgment that the way things are going to be are and necessarily should be a reflection of what more-than-just-you want. That's why your comments won't hold any weight, when it comes to how things are actually going to be.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#20
It's not just the economy that's killing pay tv, it's the competition. Fair market competition at it's best.
Absolutely. We now have a gaming console in our home, so our unwind leisure time is now split six ways (reading, television, movies, Internet surfing, online gaming, video games). Most folks now have twice as many choices, in this regard, than they did a generation ago.
 

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